The clarity of navigation and beacons

In this weeks blog I would like to talk about the basics of navigation and beacons (Lateral Markers) when out on the water. As most of you know there are two main coloured buoys and beacons Green (Starboard Side) and Red (Portside) these indicate the port and starboard sides of navigable waters or channels.

Some of you, like me, may have entered unfamiliar territory in you’re boating career and stopped in a confused state or worst case scenario run aground. In this blog I would like to help refresh the minds of our readers in this recap of navigation.

Below Examples of Red & Green beacons and buoys  (Beacons are fixed & Buoys float)


 What beacon/buoy should be on what side?

When going upstream (away from the sea):

Keep red (port hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the right-hand side (to starboard).
When going downstream (towards the sea):
Keep red (port hand marks) on the right hand side (to starboard).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).

Remember there are also cardinal and special marks these are a sequence of yellow and black in colour and  indicate danger areas. These markers display a certain flash sequence for North South East & West as illustrated below.
Information in full detail can be downloaded as a PDF from MSQ website here and remember to always check current tide times and weather radar before setting off. A list of boat ramps around Australia can also be found here
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John Hogan

John Hogan